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CASE STUDY: New ecommerce platform a good fit for Bata

By Retail Technology | Thursday April 25 2019

Footwear brand and retailer Bata put itself on the road to digital transformation by replacing its legacy ecommerce platform

Founded in 1894, Bata is the world’s leading shoemaker by volume, designing stylish and comfortable footwear at affordable prices. It is a family-owned business serving more than 1 million consumers a day in their 5,300 stores, and producing locally in their 23 Bata-owned manufacturing facilities across five continents.
True to its innovation heritage, the company has embarked a digital transformation journey, developing its online brand at that would drive ecommerce, as well as increasing its focus on selling through multi-brand retailers.
The challenge

Key to Bata’s new digital strategy has been connectivity and agility. Its legacy ecommerce platform however and the numerous point-to-point integrations were not providing the necessary flexibility, scalability and performance level required to support the fast growing business at a global level. 

They were also preventing the retailer from optimising customer experiences and leveraging the wealth of information accumulated over the years and through the different online and offline channels.
Bata decided to replace its legacy ecommerce platform with Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) and selected MuleSoft® Anypoint Platform to unify multiple systems across brands, geographies, and channels. 

This involved:

• Developing APIs to integrate the SFCC with the various its back end and front end systems, including Warehouse Management, CRM, ERP, loyalty, POS, payment providers etc.
• Migrating to the new eCommerce platform
• Integrating their new Web Order Management System
At the beginning of 2018 Bata engaged WHISHWORKS to procure and implement MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, remove point-to-point integrations, rationalise and automate core processes, and ensure their ecommerce platform was seamlessly integrated.
Business challenges

• Rising customer expectations
• Rising consumer fulfillment expectations
• Rising compliance standards
• Pressure on margins in omni-channel
• Legacy infrastructure
• Data decision complexity
• Globalization challenges
• Skills shortage
Technical challenges

• P2P Integration
• Customer data not joined up between store & web
• Customer order & payment history limited to web
• Complex store collection & returns
• Store stock out and/or Web oversell
• Batch processes trying to support a real-time web front end
• Multiple stock pots to support store, web & future channels
• Complex, costly and time-consuming Onboarding and offloading partners
• Limited flexibility and scalability
• Very high IT management overhead
The solution

WHISHWORKS ran a discovery workshop to understand the business requirements and the existing AS-IS technical landscape to create the TO-BE reference architecture based on MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform.
It created a 3-layered architectural model based on MuleSoft’s best practice. This 3-layer architecture provides loose-coupling, which gives Bata the ability to replace any downstream systems without impacting the overall integration.
Working closely with the Bata team, WHISHWORKS built APIs to allow the new ecommerce platform to access customer information, order status, real-time inventory, pricing — all the data previously held in various silos. 

In doing so, legacy data, like past orders, was transformed so it can be used by the ecommerce platform and various other systems.
All API-enabled connections were developed with reusability in mind. This means that APIs developed at this stage, will be reused many more times as the ecommerce platform is rolled out in other countries.
Success factors 

• Reducing point-to-point integrations that currently exist within the legacy systems and complexity caused by them.
• Building a framework which can be flexible and extensible to support Bata’s growing global market needs.
• Developing common framework components.
• Being able to quickly expose new APIs for trade partners using Anypoint API manager developer portal.
• Design, build, test and implement the API interfaces for product, customer, order, inventory, price book, payment settlement and order refund.
The benefits

By adopting API-led connectivity, Bata will gain the much-needed agility, innovation and insight required to stay ahead in the constantly changing global retail market:
Agility & Scalability:

• Leveraging the reusable components built on the platform, speed of development increases exponentially.
• API-led connectivity makes it easy to scale to accommodate additional applications, geographies, partners etc.
Unified view:

• With access to data previously held in various silos, Bata will be able to get improved insights from across the business.
• Real-time and near real-time data processing capabilities, will enable Bata to optimise operational processes.
• Real-time view of stock is expected to bring significant efficiencies across the supply chain.
• Making the information available to different business solutions will enable Bata to create more cohesive, omnichannel customer experiences.

• Increased operational agility, reusable assets and reduced development times will allow Bata to innovate faster.
• With their foundational infrastructure optimised for change, Bata will be able to build an omnichannel brand prepared for the future.

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